at the Sign of the Hygra
2 Middleton Road
London E8 4BL
Tel: 00 44 (0)20 7254 7074
Antique Boxes in English Society
1760 -1900
Writing Boxes
Writing Boxes


 A double opening  or triple ivory inlaid Indian rosewood writing box  circa 1870
A double opening  or triple writing box of c 1870 made in India from rosewood  inlaid all over  with ivory, the top edged with a chevron pattern of ebony and ivory and with countersunk handles and brass straps. 

The upper part has pockets for letters.

The lower part opens down to a velvet covered writing slope.

 For further information on the background see The Online Box Book.

The box has a wax finish and is overall in very good original condition. 

Indian circa 1870
The box is  15.5  inches long  10  wide and  5.75  tall (when closed).

The composition of the top exploits the contrast of the light colored ivory and the rosewood.

The style of the ornaments on the early boxes is formal yet flowing and robust. A perfect compliment to the strength and figure of the rosewoods.

For more information on this type of inlay click here. Anglo Indian Boxes


Detail of one of the corners.  The detailing of the ivory inlay is exquisite.

 The borders are inlaid with stylized floral scrolls and the centers with a single floral motif following a circular  pattern. The edging is of ivory and ebony pinned with ivory and ebony  pins, a combination of ivory and wood. This served a dual purpose, both ornamental and protective of the end grain against weather conditions.




The upper part has pockets  for letters.  
There is a slatted sliding lid to the compartment at the back:

For the historical context of this writing box read the relevant part of Antigone's Online Antique Box Book. If you click here you will go there.

We are preparing a highly illustrated book on Antique Boxes and Tea caddies for publication next year by Schiffer Books, USA. This box has been specially photographed for inclusion. 

  © 2000 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly